A 2009 Teen Voice study by the Search Institute found that two-thirds of 15-year-old teens had an identifiable hobby or something that sparked their interests. Hobbies might seem like small potatoes next to larger teen issues, but your teen's interests say a lot about him and the way he spends his time. By examining how other teens spend their time, your teen can choose interests that help him build his confidence, stay busy and keep out of trouble. Encourage your teen to find a hobby that suits his personality and you could be fostering a lifelong love.
Among all of the interests listed in the Teen Voices study, the one to come out on top was sports or other athletic activities. Whether team or individual, competitive or just for fun, your teen's interest in sports offers a variety of benefits including building confidence, developing a sense of teamwork and the ability to fit in the 60 minutes of physical activity required each day by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your teen is interested in sports, remind him that they don't necessarily have to be competitive.
Texting, watching TV, social networking and playing video games can all be considered hobbies for teens. They're ideal hobbies for those teens who always want to stay connected. Of course, too much technology isn't a good thing, especially when it interrupts family time or school work. However, using technology can help prepare your teen for a lifetime in a society that relies on technology for major communication, jobs and life in general.
The study found the 24 percent of teens counted creative activities such as art, dance, drama and music among their hobbies, just after the 28 percent who identified sports as their greatest interest. Creative pursuits help your teen express herself, which can be extremely fulfilling. Luckily, plenty of outlets exist for creative activities, including school clubs and programs, private lessons and community groups. Help your teen test a variety of creative activities and she might be surprised at what sparks her interests.
Some teens love to work. In fact, a group of statistics gathered by StatisticBrain.com found that teens make anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per year with part-time work. Work gives teens a sense of pride and accomplishment, along with the independence that comes with having spending money. You can talk to your working teen about spending, saving and how to manage money while instilling a solid work ethic for future jobs.
Some teens might not play the tuba or be the starting center for the basketball team, but count social time as their hobby. If your teen is more of a social butterfly than a creative spirit, it's still an excellent way to spend time. Social teens prefer to spend time with their friends, at social events, just hanging out or even talking on the phone. Just ensure that your teen knows how to create healthy and meaningful relationships and that social time doesn't interfere with school or family time.